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Confidential: The American Revolution's Agents of Espionage

Learn how tailors, school teachers, and enslaved people operated as secret agents gathering intelligence for the American cause. This exhibition features never before seen objects from the Museum's collection, including artifacts and images detailing the infamous story of traitor Benedict Arnold, and letters from the leader of Long Island’s Culper Spy Ring, Benjamin Tallmadge, to the operation’s mastermind, “Spy Master 711”—George Washington himself.

*Visitors will also get an opportunity to become agents of espionage themselves by using a cipher wheel to uncover the secret messages hidden in the object labels! 

(On view through September 2019).

View the object labels for this exhibition.


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Long Room

On the second floor of 54 Pearl Street is the Long Room. It is the site of General George Washington’s famous farewell to his officers at the end of the Revolution. This period room is a re-creation of an 18th century public dining room based on extensive research of inventories and estates of tavern keepers of this period.

Washington’s farewell to his generals who survived the war was an emotionally charged address. One attendee of the event was Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge, who described the event many years later in his memoirs, “With a heart full of love and gratitude I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.” The memoir is currently on view in McEntee Gallery.


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Clinton Gallery

The Clinton Room is a recreation of a federalist style dining room. The room is named for George Clinton, New York State’s first American governor who hosted a dinner party for General George Washington at Fraunces Tavern to celebrate the British evacuation of British troops from New York on November 25, 1783.

The Clinton family donated the beautiful Zuber wallpaper that currently hangs in this room. It is one of only eleven surviving examples of the original sets designed in France in1838. The room boasts many pieces of Chippendale furnishings, as well as original Chinese export porcelain. Clinton keeps an eye on this room from his portrait, which hangs above the fireplace and his sword.


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A Stoic Countenance: Portraits of George Washington

Honoring Elizabeth and Stanley DeForest Scott

Few individuals have been as honored and revered in American history as George Washington.  Elected as the rebellion’s military leader in 1775 as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, and eventually unanimously elected as the first American President, he embodied the spirit of the American people.

Washington was a symbol of popular political participation and resistance to authority, while also being a champion of law and order.  He possessed numerous virtues including duty, bravery, and loyalty that continue to inspire respect and emulation.  These attributes along with his impressive physical stature moved numerous artists to create portraits of Washington during his lifetime.

The majority of the prints on display in the exhibition were issued during the last quarter of the 18th century, and seen together they give a rare glimpse into the attitudes and perspectives of that period.


Valuable

Fraunces Tavern Museum is a repository for the material culture of Colonial America, the American Revolution, and Early American history. Since 1907, the Museum has been a vehicle to preserve the artifacts of America’s cultural legacy. Using these artifacts as evidence from the past, the Museum is able to interpret humanity at a specific time and place.

Take this chance to see Dennis Malone Carter’s “Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth,” the delicate silk shoe of Martha Washington, the last known letter from martyred Continental spy Nathan Hale, and more.

Ends November 3, 2018


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History of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York (SRNY)

Located above the Long Room, this exhibit explains the history of the organization that saved Fraunces Tavern. Visitors can learn about the SRNY and its community involvement through the displays of artifacts, images and plaques, which are kept in original early 20th century museum cases, built by Tiffany & Company.


Dunsmore: Illustrating the American Revolutionary War

The world’s largest collection of paintings (47) by artist, John Ward Dunsmore are on exhibit after an eleven year long conservation effort. The majority of the paintings depict scenes from the American Revolutionary War.  They are accompanied by other artifacts that highlight the artist’s body of work.

Ends June 2018


 A Flash of Color: Early American Flags and Standards

Over forty of the more than 200 flags from the collection are on display in the Kathryn & Shelby Cullom Davis Education Center for American History. In this exhibit visitors will learn how the design and colors of the American flag developed. Flags representing the states and French regiments who fought for the cause are also on display.